LeBron James continues to reach new levels of Cheesy Dad Mode.
On the heels of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tuesday night loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the four-time MVP dropped a new nickname to describe himself and teammate/best-friend-forever Dwyane Wade. And, well, yeah. Let’s just say it wasn’t the greatest.
Per ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin:
LeBron James dropped a new nickname for him and Dwyane Wade as the leaders of the first and second unit: Joe Montana and Steve Young
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 20, 2017
I mean, yeah, sure, whatever. This doesn’t really make any sense. But let’s go with it, because LeBron is LeBron, and people probably faked hearty laughs and nods of approval when he said it.
This says more about the state of the Cavaliers right now than anything. James was able to joke after a loss to a perceived Eastern Conference contender, because his team is rolling. The Cavaliers have won 18 of their past 20 games, during which time they’re posting the second-best offensive rating and a league-average defensive rating. They’re now a manageable 2.5 games within the first-place Boston Celtics.
So, yeah, things are good. And James isn’t wrong that he and Wade deserve to be recognized for their respective job descriptions. LeBron is leading a starting five that’s pumping in more than 116 points per 100 possessions and posting a plus-7.7 net rating over this most recent span, according to NBA.com. Wade, meanwhile, is the face for a bench that ranks second in offensive efficiency and eighth in defensive efficiency during this same stretch.
For the first time in basically forever, a James-led team is enjoying supreme depth. The Cavaliers are even a net plus per 100 possessions when their King steps off the floor, according to NBA.com—something they haven’t been able to say in each of the previous three seasons since his return.
We’ll let this pretty irrelevant nickname slide then. LeBron and Wade are doing work. They have earned a break from our typically relentless snark…for now, at least.